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    First Day of School and Technology Update
    Posted on 09/04/2020

    First Day of School and Technology Update

    Dear Families:

    The first day of the 2020-21 school year is in the books! Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we kicked off a start of school unlike any other. I had the opportunity to be out at Rainer View Elementary, Robert Eagle Staff Middle School, and Rainier Beach High School today where educators and school leaders were passing out meals, devices, library books, musical instruments, schedulers and planners, and best of all, welcoming and getting to know students and families. It was awesome to see how excited students are about being back.

    This year is going present us with challenges we never thought we would face. We should all be prepared for the unexpected, especially in the first few days while every student and staff log on with new devices to get to know their new teachers and classmates. While we have prepared to the best of our ability and built a Strong Start, we are committed to addressing issues as they come up and getting things right.

    While the vast majority of our students connected, logged in, and met new classmates, we also had a few bumps today. As we brought tens of thousands of devices onto our network this morning, we saw the internet slow down in some areas, and some students experienced disruptions to class meetings or might not have been able to login.

    Our Department of Technology Services (DoTs) has been planning for this scenario but couldn’t implement a solution without knowing exactly what would happen today. They have reminded me that our network is like a highway. We had six thousand cars on the road and now we have 63,000. So, they built an offramp for heavy loads – like video. This solution was tested today at Lincoln High School and it worked well. We will be doing a system update this afternoon for all district-issued devices. Below are directions you will need to follow with your student so that the "off-ramp" is activated and ready for Tuesday, September 8.

    We also heard that families need basic login and technology navigation supports. The web team is working with DoTs to put "how to" information front and center on the district website, and an alert on all school sites. Look for that update this weekend.

    Finally, today's experience with technology is exactly why we are implementing the Strong Start week, September 4-11. This week gives us time to test out the technology, work out the issues, and focus on relationships and building community — all to ensure a smooth 2020-21 school year.

    Thank you for your patience today. Continue to let us know when you run into challenges. We are committed to getting this right for your student and family.

    Superintendent Juneau

     

     

    Update Steps for Student Devices

    Please do the following on your district-issued laptop or iPad:

    1. Plug your device into power
    2. Turn it on
    3. Connect to the internet
    4. Restart it and have your student log in
    5. Leave it on for an hour or two to receive new software updates before logging off

    It would be ideal if you could do this at least once a week.